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March 16, 2000

Magnus Norman


MIKI SINGH: Questions for Magnus.

Q. It seemed to me it was very high quality. Is that the way it seemed to you?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Yeah, it was. I think both Sebastien and me were playing very good tennis. It's just fantastic to be such a part of high-level tennis. That's what you train for every day. I'm just glad to actually have won the match as well.

Q. You had a tough tiebreak, made a lot of mistakes in the second set tiebreak. You came back very strong after that. Is it difficult to put that out of your mind after you've played a poor game like that and come back strong?

MAGNUS NORMAN: It is, yeah. It's one of the toughest things in tennis, when you lose a set that you actually should have maybe have won, because I was always leading the set. I thought that, you know, I was in a good position to actually win the tiebreaker, then I lost it. As you said, to come back as strong as I did in the third set, it shows how strong I am in the moment, both physically and mentally.

Q. You're the only seed left in the top half of the draw. How do you view that? Temptation to take it easy?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Absolutely not. In the new Tennis Masters Series, right from the beginning you've got to play a hundred percent, otherwise you're out of here in the first match. I'm just going to take one match at a time. If I win one more match, I'm going to be very, very happy. You can't take anything for granted because then maybe you'll be flying out of here.

Q. You had five titles last year (inaudible). Does it feel like this might be a breakthrough with you?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Absolutely. Last year, as you said, I had five titles. This year I'm trying to focus more on the big tournaments. I was down in Australia, made the semifinals there. I'm already in the Top 10, which was my goal for this year. Still it's only March. I have good room for improvement this year. I'm just looking forward to a very exciting year.

Q. What would it mean if you could be ahead in the points chase?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Well, I'm looking more for the year-end ranking. I want to be among the Top 10 when the year ends. I think that's what really counts. I think I have a good chance, absolutely, to make it.

Q. You never got past the third round in a Tennis Masters Series.

MAGNUS NORMAN: That's a big step for me. When you've done it once, you know in your mind you can do it more times. It's very important.

Q. How do you find the conditions?

MAGNUS NORMAN: I think it's fair to all of us. It doesn't really matter if you are a serve-and-volley player or if you're a baseline player. I think it's fair to everybody. I think the tournament -- it's really a fair surface for everyone. The tournament should be happy. There have been a lot of good matches. I'm sure on the weekend, it's going to be even better tennis.

Q. You have either Corretja or Santoro as your next opponent. What is your past with them?

MAGNUS NORMAN: I think I beat Corretja twice and Santoro once. I don't think I lost to them. I have a little bit of advantage there. But both are playing very good this week, so it's going to be a very tough match. I just have to play as strong as I did today to get through.

Q. Having a good year on par with Andre and Pete, people don't look at you like them. Do you like being in the background?

MAGNUS NORMAN: Absolutely. No one knows who I am. If you want it to be that way, it can be that way. I'm not trying to make publicity, things like that. I like it more like it is for the moment. Of course, I want tennis fans to know who I am and that I'm a pretty good player. Hopefully if I have some good results, people are going to start to recognize me.

Q. Would you bet on an Enqvist/Norman final?

MAGNUS NORMAN: That would be something. We're practicing together in Stockholm all the time. It's far away to think about that. That would be a dream final for us both.

Q. Why don't you want to have a bigger identity? You could make more money, more endorsements, become wealthy.

MAGNUS NORMAN: Perhaps maybe you're right. I'm not just that kind of person. I'm not going to act a different kind of way because I want to make more money. I just want to stay like Magnus Norman, not try to pretend to be anyone else.

End of FastScripts…

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